The Jews of Kraków and its Surrounding Towns

old shul Kraków was one of the largest Jewish centers in Poland/Galicia, and, as such, needs no introduction. In 1938, kraków's Jewish population numbered over 60,000, or about 25% of the city's total population of 237,000. In 1948, the post-holocaust Jewish population had been decimated to about 5,900, and by 1978, the number had dwindled to a mere 600.

Can we trace and identify the original pre-war population? What do we know about them? Is it possible to trace their ancestors, or are their names now lost forever? This website will hopefully answer some of these questions, and should provide you with the resources needed for tracing your ancestors.

old shul

This website is not meant to provide a comprehensive historical account of the Jews in kraków, their culture, their enormous Talmudic contribution, or their decimation during the Shoah ...there are numerous books on these topics. Rather, this website is intended to provide the reader with data, ...hopefully lots of data, ...data that can be used to trace one's ancestry. In fact, this site already has pointers to over 150,000 individuals from kraków, spanning a period of more than 2 centuries. Since many of these records also have secondary references listing the names of parents, spouses or children, the total number of individuals probably exceeds 200,000!

In order for these records to grow, your input is needed. We would welcome any list comprising 30 or more Jewish names from kraków ...be it members of a society, a synagogue committee, or a sports club. Although such lists may not directly contribute to genealogical research, they do provide us with a better perspective of the lives of our ancestors. Also, they at least provide a date at which the individual was known to be alive.

Use of Terms: In 1335, Casimir the Great established the town of Kazimierz specifically for Jews. His benevolence towards the Jews supposedly was based on his love for a Jewish girl Esther, who - according to the same legend - lived at 46 Ulica Krakowska in kraków. Although Kazimierz was originally a separate and independent city, it later became incorporated into kraków. The original area of Kazimierz, however, remained a Jewish district and was even called the Judenstadt. Although Jews were compelled to live there, Kazimierz was not really a ghetto. The actual Jewish ghetto was established much later - during World War II - in Podgorze, a southern suburb of kraków on the other side of the Vistula river.

 

kraków's Rema Synagogue

The Rema synagogue (acronym for Rabbi Moses Isserles) is located in Kazimierz, the Jewish quarter of kraków, and was founded in 1553. The Rema was considered to be the 'Maimonides of Polish Jewry' and was known for his universal outlook, his extensive Talmudic and secular knowledge, his manner of study, and his humility. His published works included treatises on halakhah, philosophy, kabbalah, homiletics, and science.

The adjacent Rema cemetery was used until 1799, and contains the graves of the Rema and his family. (Click here to see eminent burials in the Rema Cemetery). Prior to World War II, thousands of Polish Jews visited his grave every year on the anniversary of his death. After the war, the cemetery was restored and pieces of broken headstones which could not be matched were used to make a memorial cemetery wall.

Here are images of the Rema Shul.

 

Isaac Shul Members - 1939

The table below lists the male members of the Izaaka (or Isaac) Synagogue in Kraków for the year 1939. Follow this link to see a picture of the Isaac Shul.

(Data entered by J. Schamroth. Source material: Sprinzak Library, Jerusalem)


 

ABRAHAMER          Leon
ABRAHAMOWICZ       Leib
ALEKSANDROWICZ     Pawel
ALEKSANDROWICZ     Jozef
BANDET             Joachim
BECKMANN           Markus
BECKMANN           Maks
BERGER             Jakob
BERTIG             Moses
BERTIG             Jozef
BIRNBAUM           Emanuel
BIRNBAUM           Edmund
BLASBALG           Salo
BLAUFEDER          Henryk
BLEIBERG           Fischel
BLOCH              Naftali
BLOCH              Hermann
BOCHENEK           Salomon
BORGENICHT         Majer
BRANDSDORFER       Jakob
BRANDSDORFER       Dawid
BREIT              Jakob
DALLET             Hirsch
DAM                Izrael
DAM                Leib
DANZIGER           Izrael
DAWIDOWICZ         Wiktor
DR. WETSTEIN       Ignacy
DREKSLER           Leon
EBER               Hirsch
EINSEIDLER         Osiasz
EINTRACHT          Izak
EISENBACH          Mendel
FADEN              N.
FEIL               Markus
FEUERSTEIN         Zygmund
FINDER             Abraham
FINKER             Jozef
FISCHER            Tobias
FISCHER            Dawid
FLINK              Benjamin
FLINK              Markus
FREI               Hesie
FREI               Jozef
FREUNDLICH         Jakob
GASTFREUND         Wolf
GEMEINER           Adolf
GESCHWIND          Izak
GOLDBAUM           Samuel
GOLDSTEIN          Oheim
GOLDSTEIN          Leib
GOLDSTEIN          Leizer
GOLDSTEIN          Moses
GOLDSTEIN          Natan
GOLDSTEIN          Samuel
GOLDZIUK           Jakob
GREI               Szymon
GREI               Osiasz
GROSS              Izak
GROSS              Akiwa
GRUNBAUM           Markus
GRUNBERG           Efroim
GRUNWALD           Markus
GTENSTEIN          Leib
HALPERN            Lazar
HALPERN            Pinkus
HALPERN            Mozes
HAMMERSCHLAG       Samuel
HAUSER             Samuel
HERZOG             Zyga
HERZOG             Izrael
HEUBLUM            Markus
HEUBLUM            Izak
HOLLANDER          Schachne
HORN               Abraham
HOROWITZ           Salo
HUDES              Juda
HUPPERT            Szymon
ICKOWICZ           Lazarz
ICKOWICZ           Filip
IMMERGLUCK         Izak
JOCHMOWICZ         Gerson
KALMUS             Abraham
KANDEL             Jakob
KELLER             Adolf
KELLER             Hierz
KEMPLER            Jozef
KEMPLER            Markus
KIRSCH             Markus
KLEINER            Salomon
KLEINMANN          Efroim
KOBYLKA            Jozef
KRAKAUER           Chaim
KRANZ              Hirsch
KRISCHER           Henryk
KUNSTLER           Leon
LEBENHEIM          Maks - Inz.
LEFELHOLS          Chaim
LENER              Jozef
LERNER             Hirsch
LERNER             Mendel
LEWKOWICZ          Leib
LIEBERMANN         Feliks
LILIENTHAL         Samuel
LINKER             Leib
LINSNER            Adolf
LIPSCHUTZ          Abraham
LOBZOWER           Leib
LUNDNER            Gerson
MANGEL             Abraham
MANHEIMER          Mozes
MARKOWICZ          Artur - Dr.
MARMUR             N.
MARMUR             Izak
MESSINGER          Markus
METZGER            Markus
MINGELGRUNN        Jakob
MINGELGRUNN        Izak
MIRISCH            Abraham
MIRISCH            Benjamin
MONDERER           Bernard
MONDERER           Ferdynand
MUHLSTEIN          Bernard
MULLER             Heinrich
MULLER             Paul
MULLER             Bernard
MUND               Jakob
MUNZ               Mozes
NADEL              Bernard
NEIGER             Dawid
NEUFELD            Hirsch
NEUFELD            Jozef
NOWOMIAST          Gerson
OFFNER             Emil
OSIEK              Salomon
OSIEK              Mendel
OSIEK              Adolf
PANZER             Hirsch
PAZANOWER          Leib
PAZANOWER          Efroim
PEISNER            Jozef
PELZMANN           Abraham
PFEFERBERG         Adolf
PFEFERBERG         Chaim
PIASECKI           Szymon
POMEKS             Osias
POSS               Ferdynand - Inz.
PROKESCH           Zygmund - Inz.
RACHES             Markus
REDNER             Mozes
ROMER              Schmaje
ROSENBERG          Zygmund
ROSENZWEIG         Hilel
ROSNER             Salomon
ROSNER             Ignacy
ROSNER             Chaim
ROTH               Peretz
ROTH               Samuel
ROTTER             Jakob
RUBINSTEIN         Jakob
SCHAFER            Mozes
SCHAFFER           Wolf
SCHAMROTH          Israel
SCHAPIRA           Aleksander
SCHARF             Mozes
SCHARF             Leib
SCHAUMER           Markus
SCHAUMER           Adolf
SCHEIDLINGER       Ignacy
SCHIFFER           Jakob
SCHIFMANN          Jozef
SCHLAGLIED         Majer
SCHLAGLIED         Dawid
SCHNEIDERMANN      Abraham
SCHNITZER          Adolf
SCHONBERG          Alter
SCHULTZ            Jozef
SEIDBAND           Izak
SEIDEN             Akiwa
SEITLER            Jonas
SILBER             Gedalja
SPIEGEL            Chaim
SPIERER            Oskar - Aptekarz
SPINER             Adolf
SPIRA              Benjamin
SPIRA              Natan
SPRITZER           Izak
STAHL              Pinkas
STEIGBIEGEL        Bernard
STEINER            Mordche
STERN              Hirsch Dawid
STERNGAST          Zewilim
TAUBENFELD         Chaskel
TEMPLER            Jakob
TENNENBAUM         Markus
TENNENBAUM         Chaim
TIRAS              Chaim
VADEN              Wilhelm
VIERTEL            Jozef
WASSERLAUF         S. Dr.
WEINFELD           Wigdor
WEISSBERG          Leib
WEISSBERG          Jozef
WEISSBROD          Jakob
WERBEL             Herman
WETSTEIN           Wolf
WETSTEIN           Chaim
WIENER             Hirsch
WIENER             Osias
WIERNICKI          Mozes
WOHLFEILER         Ascher
WOHLFELD           Nuchem
ZUCKER             Pinkas
ZUCKER             Naftali

Portrait Cards by Szymon Balicer

More Balicer portraits can be seen in the Kraków Album. Here is a link to the Balicer page. Should you have any Balicer portraits that you wish to donate to this site, please contact Eilat Gordin Levitan at eilat.gordinlevitan@gmail.com.

 


Who Are We?

  • Eilat Gordin Levitan

Eilat has adopted the kraków page and wishes to dedicate her contributions to her mother-in-law Ilana Levitan Z"L, her first cousin Uri Helberg Z"L, and her second cousin Roman Rakower Z"L, who were all very involved in kraków geneaology work. Ilana was the daughter of Yechiel Zadok ROSENBLUM and Ester, daughter of Shmuel and Sarah Helberg. Sarah was the daughter of Szymon RAKOWER and Golda nee LEBENHEIM, granddaughter of Elias RAKOWER and Hindy LEWY, who were also the great grandparents of Roman Rakower. Eilat currently works on translating Yitzkor books and adding to her other website (www.eilatgordinlevitan.com), which also contains a page for kraków. If you have any pictures or other information to contribute, please email Eilat at eilat.gordinlevitan@gmail.com.

  • Robert Bogusz

Robert is the Director of the Kraków Archives in Ul. Grodzka, Kraków. Together with his staff, he has provided this Website with a lot of new, original material. Any researcher going to Kraków is advised to contact him.

  • Judie Goldstein

Judie - a descendant of the FENDLER and EBERSOHN families from kraków - was one of the first genealogists to get involved in the collection of genealogical records from kraków. She is responsible for providing most of the available vital records indices from kraków. Judie lives in New York State.

  • Dan Hirschberg

Descended from the HIRSCHBERG family from kraków, Dan maintains his own kraków site which has a powerful search engine and is the place where new research, surname inferences etc is done. He is our expert on early kraków records. Dan is a professor in the ICS Department at the University of California, Irvine, with research interests in the theory of design and analysis of algorithms.

  • Miriam Romm
A Holocaust survivor, and descended from the GRAJOWER family from kraków. Miriam lives closenext to Tel Aviv, Israel. Miriam maintains a close working relationship with the kraków Archives and coordinates joint projects with them.
  • Julian Schamroth

The original WebMaster for the kraków site (until 2005). Descended from the SCHAMROTH family from kraków. When not involved in genealogy, he is a dermatologic surgeon living outside Jerusalem, Israel.

 


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Compiled by Eilat Gordin Levitan. Updated February 1, 2020 Copyright © 2007 Eilat Gordin Levitan (eilat.gordinlevitan@gmail.com).